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Reviews for Age of vice

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

A poor boy joins up with a ruthless rich family in this fast-paced thriller. Kapoor’s sprawling second novel opens with a horrific scene: five day laborers lying dead on a New Delhi street, killed after being struck by a Mercedes early in the morning. When the police arrive, they find Ajay, a young man, at the wheel, an empty bottle of scotch nearby. Ajay, we learn, comes from a “poor, less than poor” family in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh; his family are members of a socially disadvantaged caste. When he was a boy, his father was beaten to death by a group of strongmen; his mother sold him to pay for the money she borrowed for her husband’s medical bills. Ajay worked for the farmer who bought him until the man died, then found work in a backpacker cafe where he met Sunny Wadia, the de facto leader of a band of “young, rich, and glamorous Indians, not afraid to show it, not afraid to slum it, welcome everywhere, welcomed by themselves.” Sunny, a flashy playboy, offers Ajay a job working for him in Delhi; the young man accepts, becoming a valet, butler, bodyguard: “the beating heart of Sunny’s world. Wordless, faceless, content.” Ajay soon learns that the Wadia family, entrenched in a feud, is more sinister and dangerous than he thought and that he’s being made to take the fall for a crime he didn’t commit. Kapoor switches points of view and timelines throughout the book to great effect; it doesn’t take long for the reader to become invested in the Mario Puzo–esque drama of the Wadia family and their associates. Her dialogue shines, and although the novel is a bit too long, it’s certainly gripping. Fans of crime novels will find much to admire in this quite entertaining book. A bit too long-winded but a whole lot of fun. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.